It’s 2023, and according to The World Bank, the global economy is plunging into a recession. With a decline in interest rates and a rise in inflation, people have less disposable income. As a result, they’re cutting their expenses, and the competition across various industries is rising because of the shrinking market size.
Because of these economic conditions, businesses must redesign their unique selling proposition to distinguish themselves from the competition. However, competitors also actively strategize to attain a share of the market. They might also quickly follow each other’s moves, making sustaining a competitive edge difficult.
Here are some of the ways businesses can attain a sustainable competitive advantage in 2023:
Attract and Retain Top Talent
Assets like machinery, factories, and investments are necessary for any business. However, these assets can only facilitate the organization to achieve its objectives. The human assets of the organization do the actual work. From an employee working in the factory to top management, every individual who performs well holds tacit knowledge about the company’s operations or can contribute more to the organization is essential.
The best way to maintain these assets is to attract and retain top talent. Strategies to retain them can include:
- Offering a competitive compensation package
- Propagating an inclusive culture
- Offering work-life balance
- Providing ample development opportunities
Job satisfaction is the highest-ranked factor for employee engagement and productivity. However, career advancement and development opportunities are essential for the younger generation to stay with an organization. As a result, many organizations are investing in upskilling their existing employees.
A popular way to upskill is getting them to enroll in online MBA programs with no GRE since they’re more flexible. Many employees are even pursuing higher degrees while on the job, and online degrees are their choice because of their convenience and affordability. And besides, what better degree to offer than an MBA?
Study the Competition
In the business world, competitors also strategize to increase their market share. So, whatever move you make, the competitors are already working on it or will follow your strategy if it succeeds. In either case, keeping a close watch on competitors is necessary.
Business professionals are taught simple tools to track the industry and its competitors. A standard tool is the SWOT analysis, which helps the company to assess its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The organization can also hire individuals with industry experience and identify the competitor’s strengths and weaknesses to develop strategies the competitor cannot follow quickly.
For example, if a company knows its competitor does not have the marketing budget to expend on a campaign, it could pursue the opportunity without fear that the competition will return with a better campaign.
Understand the Customers
Understand the customer’s pain points, what they need, and how they behave. In the current era, where data is the new oil, businesses can leverage the data they collect to learn about the results of the strategies executed and understand the black box of consumer behavior.
If a company is in its commencement phase, it is improbable that it will have ample data to derive insights and make decisions. In this case, direct interaction with the customer through focus groups, interviews, and surveys can help collect data. It can also help get an overview of the consumer’s pains, wants, and needs.
This data can help your business develop a product or strategy that meets the customer’s needs. It can also help the company to develop marketing strategies that resonate directly with the customer. The collected data and the developed trust afterward are a competitive edge that competitors cannot copy.
Execute Out-of-the-box Digital Campaigns
If your business doesn’t focus on marketing on the digital platform, it will soon fail. That’s because, in today’s world, an online presence is a must to maintain a top-of-the-mind position and connect with customers.
But only presence is not enough. As of 2023, 55% of all advertisements are digital. The number is bound to multiply in the next few years. So, the clutter of advertisements on online platforms demands that brands develop out-of-the-box campaigns that engage the customers.
A viable way to engage customers is to develop strategies that get consumer-generated content. For example, a brand can get customers to participate in a competition where they share stories about the theme and the brand. These campaigns help the customer establish trust with the brand. The brand also develops a top-of-the-mind position, a USP for the business.
Give Back to the Community
According to the triple bottom line theory, businesses should not only invest to reap profits. It’s up to businesses to care about the people and the planet. Also, in 2023, brands are all about inclusivity, community, and well-being because:
- Employees want to work for businesses with a shared sense of purpose. When the business is inclined towards giving back to the community, it will attract top talent that resonates with the belief.
- Customers want to purchase from businesses that are responsible and sustainable. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is an example of a strategy by a big conglomerate that is helping cocoa farmers grow. This attracts customers to associate helpfulness, responsibility, and sustainability with the brand.
- Suppliers want to work with companies that care for their well-being and invest in their growth.
When businesses aim at giving back to the community, they’re attaining sustainable growth because of the loyalty from customers and retention of top-performing employees. So, when they give back to the community, businesses develop a brand as a USP, distinguishing them from the competition offering the same product.
In the business world, change is constant, so it is up to businesses to keep upgrading their competitive advantage to stay relevant. From attracting top talent and analyzing competitors to investing in digital marketing and focusing on corporate social responsibility, businesses can boost their competitive edge in 2023. However, upskilling and reskilling the workforce is a tried and tested strategy that every business must leverage. For this purpose, online business programs are a worthwhile investment.